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Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families' Agenda for America

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0262112925
ISBN-10: 0262112922
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this earnest, meticulous volume, MIT management professor Kochan argues that Americans need to view work and family as "tightly coupled issues" so that the former can be managed to complement the latter. A good start, he says, would be paid family leave for all workers, not just white-collar professionals; beyond that, he even suggests new laws that give corporate employees "the same rights to information and voice in [corporate] government" that investors already have. His other ideas are hardly objectionable, at least to blue-staters: fund basic public education, especially science; increase the minimum wage; invest in R&D to develop new jobs; revamp labor laws ("a national disgrace") to protect workers' right to unionize; and repeal "some or all of the tax cuts that have gone to the most wealthy Americans in recent years" in order to reduce the federal deficit. Kochan mostly ignores the current political scene and sidesteps cost figures, but suggests that a variety of networks and coalitions, including religious and identity groups, might help effect change—as they have already in some local cases. This wonkish book awaits a candidate and movement ready to translate Kochan's "vision for the longer term" into a workable plan. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


America is the wealthiest country in the world, yet American workers are experiencing a generation-long stagnation of wages and living standards. Thomas Kochan has produced a timely and important book assessing the economic challenges facing American workers, charting a forward-looking agenda for our country and challenging business, labor, and government to work together to reclaim the American dream. His arguments and proposals deserve the careful attention of anyone concerned with the living standards of the American people and the future of our country.

(John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO)

Restoring the American Dream lays out the facts facing workers and their families and then provides a set of actionable recommendations that can positively affect American society. Letting no one off the hook, this is a book that could only have been written by someone like Tom Kochan, with his thirty-plus years of scholarly research, ongoing consulting and policy advising, and most of all, his humanity and compassion. It is this remarkable combination of science, wisdom and compassion that makes Restoring the American Dream such a powerful and compelling read.

(Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, Stanford Business School, and author, The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (September 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262112922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262112925
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,635,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Darius Mehri on January 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Clearly written, highly readable book with excellent examples and anecdotes about how to restore high paying, 9 to 5 jobs in America. I highly recommend this book for practitioners and the general public who would like to absorb a dense amount of information without having to weed through a dry academic book. Many examples of policy changes that Kochan proposes can be readily proposed in your organization to improve working conditions without sacrificing profitability.
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